(A Dedication Overdue)
After all the heart and emotion that I've put into these many MANY pages of the website over the past few years, there has been one very powerful aspect of my life that I've always left blank. Not purposely, mind you. It's just that I've talked about the pain my father put me through, or how I lost my 'angel' to suicide, or the boys I've loved who inspired the stories, or how my best friend Mike was always there to pull me through rough times. But above all of this, my mother has been my rock to hold onto. She's been my shelter to endure a very harsh, very long, storm in my life, and so this is a dedication that is way overdue.
To describe my mother is impossible. Everything that I am, she is ten times that. A woman who, beyond my level of reason, is capable of such selfless deeds and acts of kindness...that I wonder if I will ever be able to match it. The things that she has sacrificed for me in my lifetime, many things that I am still just now learning about, are what make her beautiful. She is the oldest of 7 brothers and sisters, which she grew up taking care of. I'm the oldest of almost twice as many cousins now, hehehe, but I'm the ONLY only child of the bunch. (Maybe I terrified the poor woman of having any more kids! Hehehe!) She had me at age 24, and she still looks 30 years old, not a day over! Hehehe, she tells the people at work that she has a son, and they all expect me to be 8 years old, tops, before they meet me. A sweet woman, and we evidently look like a set of 'twins' standing side by side (or so we've been told many times). Hard working, MUCH moreso than I am, and consistenly cheerful. One trait that she's always had to deal with (and passed down to me genetically somehow, hehehehe!) is having that 'friendly face' thing going! To the point where we get that kind stranger on the bus or train sitting next to us, and suddenly telling us their life story out of nowhere at all. I suppose in most cases, it's a good thing though. Above and beyond all of that, she's just an incredible woman. A strong woman. One that I'm sure I never spend enough time with, or give enough credit. All of my friends from first grade through college and even now have loved her to the point where I was almost jealous! She can still have a 20 minute conversation with Mike on the phone before even passing it to me! Both my mom and his have adopted us as instant brothers in either household...so many a platefull of brownies and the like have been passed between us. She truly is one of the brightest shining lights in my life, and always will be.
I add this up to a long series of moments where everything was JUST right between us. Moments that still happen from time to time and you just feel so in sync that you can't help but to be empowered by it. Sometimes I'll come home and see her with the tv off and listening to the radio. God forbid that some Motown oldie is playing, because if I give way to sillyness, we'll spend the next few minutes dancing like a couple of kids. I can remember sticking a spoon into the cookie batter and having her smack it out of my hand and laugh. I can remember sneaking up behind her while she was washing her hair in the sink, and giving her a hug...right before she splashes an entire handful of warm water in my face! I can remember those times when we're having somewhat of an argument, and end up laughing outloud because one of us said something stupid or just plain weird. Times when I still push her over in the bed and watch some old rerun with her just like I did when I was little and couldn't sleep. (I was always SUCH an insomniac! Since I was old enough to pronounce the word) I think one of my favorite memories is when we were going to church once when I was little, and my mom and I were out warming up the car...my dad was coming out to drive, and he slipped on the ice! Omigod...it was like one of those classic Charlie Chaplin, Three Stooges, falls too...one leg in the air and everything! It was hilarious! I laughed for like an HOUR straight, and probably giggled through half of church! I think my mom really wanted me to stop, but she couldn't help but laugh too! God...my dad was SOOOO fucking mad at me, but I couldn't help it! Besides, what was he going to do with her looking right at him? Just...to know that she was 'with' me...it was awesome. I still giggle about it from time to time.
My mom has always made me feel like I could do anything. ENCOURAGED me to try so many different things, to learn, to live. Always wanted me to question everything, always told me to be honest with myself, even if I wasn't honest with everyone else. And that it was better to keep quiet than to tell a lie. A lot of who I am comes from her, and I doubt I'd be creative at all if it weren't for her influence. The only BAD thing I can really say is that the poor woman is AWFUL at telling a joke! LOL! No comedic timing whatsoever, but it's sometimes TWICE as funny to watch her try to struggle through it than it is to hear the actual joke itself. ::Giggles:: She can be so corny sometimes.
I love her for more reasons than I can count, and because of that, these cheery moments will always be with me. She was there to hold me when I cried, to take care of me when I was sick, to push me forward when I was scared, and to support me when I was falling. No matter what. After all these years, very little has changed except for the fact that I can be there for her just as much. And I try to as best as I can.
Yes, there are serpents in every paradise, and nobody ever lives happily ever after. Who knows? I guess we're just coming from two different sides of the Zodiac, and Taurus and Aquarius aren't always the best of friends. Despite unlimited love and respect, friction does arise occassionally, and sometimes that can be explosive. We DO argue sometimes. We DO go without speaking from time to time. And there are times when things are said to hurt each other's feelings, hers and mine. One of her 'catch phrases', which she uses freely when things get bad between us, is "You certainly are your father's son." Which I *HATE*!!!! She knows that I hate it, but she doesn't exactly know how hurtful it is for her to say that to me and why. She doesn't know what I had to live through and almost die to get away from...so that's usually the last straw in a lot of disagreements for us. There are times when she'll shut me out, or I'll stay in my room for an entire night to avoid her nagging. Times when I'm working hard to finish something, and she keeps distracting me to get me to stop. Times when I'm just in a bad mood and don't show her the kind of attention she deserves. Times when we can't even be in the same room together for long. But out of all of that, there's never been a shouted "I hate you!" or a single curse word between us. Never. I doubt I could even fix my mouth to say the words in her direction. I love her much too much for that, and I know that she realizes that. So any fights that we could possibly get into, they don't last long. They just weren't built to. And if it lasts more than 24 hours, it's only because we didn't get together to talk since it happened.
We're both so independent in so many ways. Neither one of us wants to ask for help or to allow someone to do something extra for us. That's OUR job to do for other people, they don't do it for us. That's just the way it is. If we can't do it ourselves, then we'll find a way to do without it. End of story. Naturally, when her and I try to do something for each other...that can REALLY get in the way! But whether we are having our differences, or are too much alike to get along, the love is still there. And God help the unlucky son of a bitch who would attempt to harm either one of us.
Are there secrets between us? Yes, of course. Many. It doesn't mean that we don't have an honest an open relationship. Some may disagree and say that I need to tell her this and explain that and blah blah blah. But if it's one thing that I've learned in life, it's to listen and trust every piece of advice you hear...then do it YOUR way anyway! Hehehe! Seriously, I love her to death, and I have no problem telling her that. Never have. It's just that sometimes, she'll be sick, or in a bind, or worried about some aspect of her life, and she refuss to tell me. She's so stubborn about going through it alone, and I do the same thing. It's like she'll be giving up a piece of her pride by allowing me to hold her hand through the tough times. She's almost 100% immune to my attempts to make her feel better, and sometimes that can hurt. You know?
In the same respect, though, I'm not out to her. I don't tell her when things in my life are shitty. I do all I can to protect her from having any worries at all, especially if it's a worry of my own. And there was a time when I used to fight SOOO much in school. I inherited my father's temper, believe me. But when things go wrong, I back up, deal with them on my own, and when I feel better I start mingling with 'society' again. That's just my way. Some days it's cool. Some days it isn't. Don't try to change it with any amount of helpful conversations, because you won't. That's as good as it gets, trust me. I'll be honest, I get really sensitive sometimes, and I wonder if I'm turning out to be this big disappointment to her or something. I think that hurts more than anything. I mean, it's not like I can tell her, "Hey Mom, I prevented a suicide today." Or, "This boy half way around the world told me that he now has a boyfriend and a whole new outlook on life, and it's all because of something I wrote." I get praise and letters of thanks, every single day. But she doesn't get to see that. All she sees is me in my room "typing on that damn thing again", and I sort of leave it at that. So, between her secrets and mine, we do have a flurry of frustrated moments between us. She was a brat about my music. I was a brat about her dating. She was a brat when it came to cleaning up the house. I was a brat about no one touching my stuff and my privacy. We've had some pretty tense moments over the years. With both her and me trying to assume the 'head of the house' and neither one of us really being able to control the other one to the point where that would work. But we found a balance somehow, and it worked out for the best.
But what is most important, is that even when we're holding onto our privacy as tightly as humanly possible...we KNOW....I mean *KNOW*...that the second things get to be too much, all we have to do is ask the other for help. No matter what. It doesn't happen often, but it's an open offer of instant acceptance, and that counts for more than you can ever imagine. It's because of that, that I appreciate her soooo much. When I was growng up, she was the only parent that I could really love and not get hurt. And she's always been there. She's the only example that I've ever had in terms of how unconditional love is supposed to work. I hope I carry the message well.
Fourteen years old...that's how old I was when my father left us. After all the things he did to me, after all the things I did to hide it, he walked out on us anyway. Ran up extremely high bills on my mother's credit cards, moved away, and hardly paid for any child support at all. Didn't care if we had food to eat, didn't care if we had a roof over our heads. All to be with a woman that I had met previously, who was going to turn out to be my stepmother one day. (And here I thought that she was just 'one of the many') My parents went through a rather messy divorce, coming shortly after a physical confrontation between all three of us that sent me to the hospital. During that time, we were broke. I mean BROKE! Hehehe, thinking back to those damn ramen noodles, frozen pizzas, and the giant economy size pack of hot dogs frozen together in a block of ice....hahahaha...I STILL get cringes! I'll probably never eat Ramen Noodles again! I can remember that she would try to change things up from time to time, and it was like, "Ok...enough hot dogs. How about...um...CORNdogs? Hehehehe, or chilidogs? That'll be KINDA different!" We used to rent videos once a week, that was 'our thing'. And she'd get ice cream sandwiches for a snack when they were on sale. As broke as we were, I still have some good memories from back then.
Things got a bit worse, and when my dad got remarried, I think it caused her a lot of pain. My mother was really hurt by all that was going on, crying to herself, and was drinking heavily on an almost daily basis. That was hard to watch, because it seemed like alcahol was the only thing that made her smile sometimes. Those weren't good days, when she was really drunk. But if I bitched and moaned enough, she'd slow down on it for a while. After I went away to college, and still to this day really, I would occassionally come back and made a habit of emptying the remaining liquor in the house to keep her from getting into the habit again. (Don't worry, I drank it! Hehehe! My tolerence should match a visiting sailor's by now) She had no idea what we were going to do, as bills got worse, and I had no idea how to help her. I did quit the track team and get an afterschool job, but all it really did was support myself in terms of lunch money, bus fair, and an occassional movie. I guess it helped though. We lived like that for about two years. My dad called from time to tim, but didn't really make an effort to take care of either one of us until years later. The strange thing is, as a teenager, even though I should have been MORE than relieved to have him out of the house...I wasn't. To be honest, I didn't know how to live without the beatings and the smacks in the head and the strict rules. That may sound absolutely ridiculous to many of you, but that was my reality at the time. His yelling and insults...it was a huge part of my 'life structure'...and all of the sudden it was gone. Just left me to freefall in a world that I didn't know how to live in. It was so weird. And I went through a lot of hard times myself. At that age, I was dealing with sooo much at once, school, my dad, my mom, her drinking, my sexuality, my secrets, getting a job afterschool, a heartbreak that thankfully Mike took the place of, our financial situation...nothing matched anymore. I can remember vividly that one night when my mother and I cried together on the living room couch for what seemed like an hour. And despite my own problems and growing thoughts of suicide that were getting more and more serious each day...she became my reason to live. If only for a little bit longer. Honestly, I was ready to kill myself and would have done so without a moment's hesitation if circumstances were different for her. Better for her. The plan was...I help her get out of debt, I make sure that she'd be able to smile again and live the life that she so rightfully deserved after so much time...and then take myself out of the equation. It was stupid, I see that now, but back then it was my only sane option. The only peace I had. Had I gotten her out of debt before my head cleared up and I started thinking straight, I doubt I would be here to write this. They weren't pretty times by any means, but now I look back at them as a hero's trial. Something we had to live through to test and strengthen our bond as a 'family'. And we made it out just fine. I doubt it'll ever be that bad again. But if it does go that way, we'll know we can get through it because we've already done it once. There's comfort in that.
My mother and I work different hours, and almost never cross paths anymore. She stays busy, I stay even BUSIER, and our shared moments aren't as plentiful as they used to be. We hardly cross paths more than twice a week. We still have our fights, and we still have our laughs right afterward. I've come to realize how important she is and has always been to me. She's always been there, she's always given everything that she has into making my life better. She is still that woman that used to put a grin on my face, even when I was hiding bruises that I had just gotten hours earlier. I owe her everything. And yes...there are times when her 'workaholic' nature won't balance out with my exhausted stints on my bedroom floor. And there times when I'm trying to do something for her and she's too damn stubborn to let me help her with ANYTHING. And there are times when we simply don't get along because I'm up and she's down or vice versa. But we've never gotten to the point where we're too old or too proud to share a hug, or to dance in the kitchen, or to just sit back and talk for a while. I still have to wrestle with her to give her a kiss on the cheek, she still talks about my bad singing and messy room, and together we can take on the strongest army on Earth. And that's what counts more than anything. I'd die for her without a moment's hesitation. I'd beat down the first person to stand in the way of her being completely and blissfully happy, and one day I hope to be something that she can be proud of. One day, I hope to give back all of the things she had to give up just so I could have the things that I wanted. She's the shining star in my life, something beautiful that I'll never be able to touch. And it's because of her that I have the strength to keep pushing forward each and every day.
She's not reading this, never will. But to everyone who ever wanted to know, to all of you guys who wondered what she was like and why I never really talk about her...here it is. A dedication long overdue.
This page was last updated on February 11, 2016.